House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will seat an Iowa Republican in the new Congress despite the Democrat in the race contesting the outcome, she announced.
Speaking at her weekly press conference Wednesday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered a succinct “yes” when asked if she planned to seat Rep.-elect Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa.) next month as Democrat Rita Hart takes her election challenge to the House itself.
Miller-Meeks and Hart faced off in a race that was decided by a mere six votes. Hart initially lost by 47 votes, but a recount found that the race to replace retiring Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) was far closer.
Hart has filed an application with the House Committee on Administration to nullify the results and conduct a hand recount with 22 additional ballots that were found to have previously been excluded.
The panel will ultimately file a report with a recommendation on who should fill the seat.
In a statement further clarifying her plans, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said that the top Democrat would only be seating the GOP candidate “provisionally.”
“Every vote counts and that’s why the Committee on House Administration is conducting a thorough and fair review of this election to make sure every vote was counted and counted as cast. Pending the outcome of the Committee’s review and consistent with House practice, we intend to provisionally seat the Republican candidate,” Hammill said.
For her part, Miller-Meeks has tendered her resignation to the Iowa state Senate and says she believes she will be victorious in locking down her new House seat.
In a statement earlier this month, she accused Hart of trying to get Pelosi to intervene to overturn the election results.
“Hart now wants a process run by one Californian, Nancy Pelosi, and decided in Washington’s hyper-partisan, dysfunctional atmosphere and not according to Iowa law,” the GOP lawmaker argued.
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